Salem Lakes still working on water patrol

Salem Lakes is still putting together a way to have water patrol on village lakes this summer, perhaps even before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The Village Board received on update on that effort at a special meeting Tuesday evening at Salem Town Hall.

Village administrator Patrick Casey said village staff is still working to put together a patrol force made up of off duty sheriff’s deputies employed by the village, hopefully in time for this weekend, the unofficial start of summer and the boating season. In April, Sherrif David Beth spoke at a Village Board meeting, saying he felt there was interest among deputies in working for the village as water patrol officers. Beth said he would allow the deputies to use their KCSD equipment while working for Salem Lakes.

“We have been working on this contrary to those who have unnamed sources …” Casey said in apparent reference to comments made at the beginning of the meeting during citizens comments by former village President Bruce Nopenz. Nopenz suggested the water patrol formation had not been pursued and that requests for information about the effort had not been answered.

Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Waldow said he knows of at least four deputies willing to do water patrol in Salem Lakes, including three available this weekend. The Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit also would be available this weekend.

Water patrol is an issue because it was formerly handled by the Public Safety Department. But the operations of that department were suspended by the Village Board in April.

Salem’s Public Safety Department was the subject of some controversy among Town Board members last year when board members learned that the department had been accepted to a grant program to increase traffic enforcement. That program required a certain number of contacts per shift covered by the grant. Consequently, officers were doing more traffic enforcement, especially along Highway 50, than in the past. Officer Michael Ventura died in a crash on July 8, 2016 on Highway 50 while driving a Public Safety Department vehicle. The town withdrew from the grant program in August. In November, with the merger of Silver Lake and Salem in process, the Silver Lake Village Board created a Public Safety Department from the old Salem department, though with some apprehension from trustees about the scope of powers.

While no board member stood in the way of Casey continuing to put together a water patrol force for this summer, some trustees seemed to suggest that maybe water patrol should be eliminated in the future.

Trustee Ted Kmiec said he thinks whether water patrol is needed in the future should be considered before the next boating season starts in 2018. If it is eliminated, some changes to village ordinances would be needed, he said.

But village President Diann Tesar said residents are telling her water patrol is needed.

“People do want water patrol … ,” Tesar said. “We have to have some presence or people will know. It will catch on like wild fire.”

Casey also reported on another lake related issue of some contention over recent weeks — buoys.

As of Monday, Casey said all buoys that are the responsibility of the village to place had been placed by Highway Department personnel.



  1. Casey CYA says:

    Just like he said last week, yeah we may of missed a few. He now calls Nopenz a liar? I saw the proof. Casey did not (according to the text) make contact with the Sheriff’s dept. And we thought we’ed get fair governing. How is it the employees get to speak freely but the citizens are held to 3 minutes?

  2. SAFE BOATER says:

    Can you imagine the lack of wisdom it would take to rename yourself Salem Lakes and not retain measures that protect the users of the lakes but also the lakes themselves. Anyone who would express the concern over the need for water patrol and/or buoy placement on the lakes has no real understanding of lake management, protection, and rehabilitation. I hope the Village has extra folding chairs for any meeting that includes the discussion and possible action of the elimination of water patrol and/or boating ordinances within the Village. They will need them.

  3. robert says:

    bullcrap no one wants water patrol all its there for is revenue it is a nuisance to fisherman and boaters i wont fish any lakes that have water patrol any more silver lake ruined that for me I seen the crap they pull on the lakes and it wasn’t just me I seen there tactics happen to people who are strangers to me…dnr fine wannabee cops NO! so tesar why dont you have the public vote on it,,there is not 1 fisherman that wants patrol to bother them

  4. SAFE BOATER says:

    curious as to why comments posted at 6am are not appearing as of 9pm

  5. SAFE BOATER says:

    The water patrol will only approach you if there is a blatant or suspected violation of State and/or Village ordinances. Clearly Robert has first hand knowledge of this and only strengthens the case for continuing that Village service.

  6. Casey CYA says:

    Taser may be correct. People want Boat Patrol. I bet about a dozen called her. I don’t use it. Why should my tax money go to pay for Cowboys, and or fake police on the lake. Let the DNR and Sheriff take care of this. Time for this to change. Tasar, and board, We are done with the old ways. This small time governing must change. This is why we eliminated our redunant governing, and will continue to do so.

  7. Matt says:

    @robert- The reason patrol is needed is because of all the reckless boating and waverunners out there. Especially the fine folks from Illinois who come here and seem to think they are on THEIR private lake! Families would like to ski, tube or otherwise just enjoy a nice day on the lake without being harassed by those who are just reckless and otherwise don’t don’t care. If you’re a trouble maker on the water, I can see where having a water patrol is your enemy. Don’t be a troublemaker, and things will be fine!

  8. Citizen says:

    Nice to see our renamed, expanded, taken over village running like clockwork. What a joke

  9. Joke. Yup! says:

    Diane needs to go. She isn’t interested in moving forward with anything.

    It’s time to sign on the dotted line with the sheriffs department for everything or call Dave Shortess back and make him chief of police.

    Tough decision. Not!

  10. Lol says:

    Joke. yup! Bring Shortess back and make him Chief of Police? There is your joke! Diann may be on her last run, and that is no joke!

  11. DNR can enforce the laws on the lakes says:

    Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)

    Call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)

    Report a violation call or text 1-800-TIP-WDNR 1-800-847-9367

    Put it in your phone and use it when you see the violations.

  12. seriously? says:

    By the time you call the DNR about unsafe boaters, they will be gone. I would invite anyone who doesn’t think we need water patrol to go out to any of the lakes in the area and see what’s going on. Its like the wild wild west and it won’t be long until someone gets hurt. The other night on Silver lake you had people still skiing after 8pm. No wake is at 7pm……

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